Author Topic: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school-- got it w/o begging! #23  (Read 4114 times)

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RegionMom

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I could use some polite help.


short version-

I can add an additional piano student to my after school roster which would help my schedule and income, IF the music classroom teacher allows me to come in 30 minutes earlier than I have been.   We have an...interesting, but working relationship.

(jump to letter in purple, below)


long version below-

BG-
I teach piano three days a week after school at a private school my kids attend. 

Three years ago, I subbed general music for an entire semester, but was not hired on because I am not a certified voice teacher.  I was asked to train the new hire, but politely declined.  I was asked to accompany her in chapel, and even teach hymn stories, since she does not play piano and is uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds.  I did so for one year, for free, but after one year, I politely declined. 

She is nice, and we get along, she had even asked me to sub for her sometimes. 

I teach piano in her room beginning at 3:30pm.  Her last class ends at 2:30pm.  She keeps to herself and has a private office.

The school split this year how upper grammar is taught, and  hired three new staff for grades 4-6:  voice, choir, and orchestra.  The new choir teacher also accompanies the high school choir, and plays in a local band. 

Cut to a big school fundraiser, with silent and live auctions,  big dressy event, adults only-

The two teachers (choir and accompanist, and the K-3 general music) are next to each other, with their boyfriends, that I have never met, but have heard about. 

I walk DH over and we exchange pleasantries.  I introduce the choir teacher with, "This is Teacher P, who does choir and accompanying and also plays piano in so-and-so's band that you know" and then I (re) introduced DH to the K-3 teacher, who he has met before and vaguely knows through church friends, "and you remember Teacher D, who teaches music and plays games."

And we all chatted, and then moved on to differently assigned tables for sit-down dinner.

Cue several weeks later, when i come in to teach and she is putting up a Christmas garland. 

Me, "Hello!  Getting ready for Christmas, looks good!  btw, several recitals are scheduled in this room in a couple of weeks and I wanted to check how you wanted things arranged."

Teacher D, "Ugh.  Yes, we need to talk about that.  I am having a really hard time sharing this room,"

(her room is a holding room for 15 minutes every morning for early drop-offs since she does not have first class till 30-60 minutes after school begins, depending on the day) (she is not assigned to watch the kids, other teachers take turns) (plus her room is sometimes used for meetings in the evenings since it is large and open and has folding chairs on risers)(and after school music lessons- a voice teacher also works in there one day a week)

"Plus, you really hurt my feelings a few weeks ago!"

Me, "??"

Teacher D, "Yes, when you introduced me and Teacher G, you told your husband this long list of what SHE does, but then you just said that I 'teach music and play games.'"

Me, "??"

Teacher D, "I really need this job and I feel disrespected by so many people here, coming late to my class, trashing my room when I am not here, borrowing stuff, and so on.  I had a really bad situation at my other school and I really needed to come to a Christian school.  I am single, and I need this job."

Me, "I am so sorry.  I honestly meant no offense at my introduction.  DH sort of knows you, but nothing of Teacher G, I am sorry if i put you down.
Question-have I ever left your room in dissarry?"

Teacher D, "No, you are one of the few that is very careful and good to keep it in order, and even leaves me notes.  Maybe I misread your tone at the fundraiser, but I know you used to have this position and it is MINE!"

Me, "I have spoken to you about my future plans to expand my home studio to home school piano students once my kids graduate, you can check with the offices, I have never applied for your job after you were hired."

Teacher D, "well,  maybe it is just me, but it has been a rough year."

And that was that.  We even hugged.

The next day or so was poinsettia delivery day so I took an extra that my MIL had bought for me, and left it outside her door, with a note stating, "this is my gift for you, to decorate you room as you wish since we have to share it for lessons and recital."

Never heard a word.

recital day, at least 5 music teachers had recitals in her classroom.  I was the 2nd, so was long gone and had no idea how her room was the next week.

Cue to new year-

Fine Arts Coordinator tells me that three new piano students are signing on with me!  yeah!  But one wants an earlier time of 3pm.  which I can do,

IF...

teacher D gives me permission to use her room at 3pm instead of 3:30pm like I have been. 

The Fine Arts Coordinator checked that Teacher D's last class that day ends at 2:30, and that she has a two hour block of time twice a week to just be alone in her room, during school with a computer and printer, and all her books and files. 

When I worked the full semester, there was a piano teacher that taught in the room three days a week, beginning at 2:45, and since he was a Doctor of Music, he ReQuiRed that no one else be in the room at the time. 

So I hightaled it out of there early for him.  He now teaches mostly older kids in the high school building. 

Anyway,

all of that to ask,

Should I write an apology/beg letter to Teacher D asking if I can use her room?  I could help arrange or clean the board, or bring a small gift, or should I just let the chips fall...

Something like this,

Dear Teacher D,

Hope your New Year is off to a great start! 

I wanted to be sure that with this new semester, that all is clear and good between us.  I have no plans to teach at (school) except for piano and subbing,  and I think your students are enjoying your music classes.  Please do not feel that I am trying to cause you stress. 

As (coordinator) may have asked, I have an opportunity to teach a student on (day) at 3pm, but I would need to use your room 30 minutes earlier.  Usually you are gone by then, but I could come early and help you out if you would like.  I know the next day you have over an hour after school begins before you have your first class, so I could even set up after my lessons are done, if you need extra time.

I understand that it is your room and that sharing it with me is a gift.  I would appreciate your consideration. 

Thank-you!

RegionMom


(I think the middle is too wordy, and some of it is maybe rude to point out that she has more time in the morn, but I put that in for e-hell to see that she does have time)  (Plus, other teachers share their rooms for tutoring, other music lessons, clubs, and coaching for academic events, so sharing is very common at this school.)

Anyway,

please help me figure out how to ask her nicely to use her room early.

(Financially, it makes a few piano students equal to a full day's pay from subbing.  And on this one day, this one extra student is the push I need to make it worth not subbing because of an on-going appt/scheduling concern that I set up and piano gives me freedom in my time more than subbing on-call demand)

Thanks, e-hell!

I know it was long, virtual cookies and a hot beverage just for reading! 
spiked beverage if you respond with help! 
:)

(edited to add a short version at top)



NEW LETTER---

Dear Teacher D,

Happy New Year! 

Hope your year is off to a great start!

As (coordinator) may have mentioned to you, there are several new students that want after school lessons, but in order to accommodate them, we would need to use your room on (day) at 3pm, instead of 3:30pm.  Would that be a possibility?  The student(s) would need to know by (date) so we can start the paperwork.

Thank-you!  I appreciate your consideration.

RegionMom
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 11:56:30 PM by RegionMom »
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

mrs_deb

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 12:15:49 PM »
I know you didn't ask this, but it would help me formulate an answer - is it really HER place to grant or deny permission to use a room that belongs to the school?  Not the place of the school's Powers That Be?


gollymolly2

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 12:21:11 PM »
I don't think you should ask her for permission - I feel like, starting with the poinsettia letter, your actions have been kind of over-kill. Maybe leave her a Brief thank you note after the first tome you use the room at 3. Otherwise, I'd leave it alone.

RegionMom

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 12:27:21 PM »
That is a good question, and it kind of changes sometimes.  The Fine Arts Director is in name only, and the Coordinator (His assistant, in another building, even!) does not want to step on anyone's toes.

The Coordinator also arranges coaching for a huge academic event, and several clubs that meet in teachers' rooms, and has had to beg herself for classroom teachers to share. 

Those are homeroom teachers, grade level teachers.  they have their own director and asst. director.  My Coordinator does fine arts.  So there is cross over, and then the after school music classes are another item she puts together.  cello and violin and guitar lessons are in grade school classrooms. 

this would be a BIG DEAL to take up to the directors, because it would look like Coordinator is not doing her job.  (She has over 240 students that she places in after school events every day of the week.  She is a walking spread sheet!)

And, I know that Teacher D has had issues in the past about communicating with the grammar teachers.  She has had quite the steep learning curve and her "not sharing" might look bad, but I do not want to be the one shed more light on that. 
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Chelsealady

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 12:59:26 PM »
I think you are over thinking this given your past history with the school and her.   I would just drop her a note and ask plainly.  Can I use the room at 3:00? And if maybe say if there is anything I can do to help you out please let me know. 

Keep it simple.  It really is a yes or no question. 

Then have a backup plan if she says no. 

camlan

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 01:04:28 PM »
To be blunt, I think the letter is too long and too wordy and brings up too much of the past. I'd go for something short and sweet and to the point.

Dear Teacher,

Is your classroom available at 3 pm on [day of week] for 1/2 hour for a piano lesson? Fine Arts Coordinator has three new students on the list for this semester, but we can only accommodate them all if we can use your classroom weekly at 3 on [day of week], which is half an hour earlier than last semester.

Please let me know by 1/15/14, so that we can let the student know.

Thank you!

Region Mom

Treat it more as a business transaction than some emotion-laden negotiation. And slant it a bit--not so much that you, personally, want to be in her room at that time, but that a student wants to learn piano, and the only way to do that is if she will be accommodating and let her room be used. It's the student who will suffer if she refuses, not you.

If she says no, then she says no. You inform the Fine Arts Coordinator of that fact, and let him/her deal with the situation from there. Even if it makes the teacher look bad. All you would be doing is telling the truth.

 
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


RegionMom

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 01:31:46 PM »

How about this?

Dear Teacher D,

Happy New Year! 

Hope your year is off to a great start!

As (coordinator) may have mentioned to you, there are several new students that want after school lessons, but in order to accommodate them, we would need to use your room on (day) at 3pm, instead of 3:30pm.  Would that be a possibility?  The student(s) would need to know by (date) so we can start the paperwork.

Thank-you!  I appreciate your consideration.

RegionMom





(added to bottom of first post, see what you guys think!)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 01:34:48 PM by RegionMom »
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

shhh its me

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 01:34:39 PM »
Way too much.

I do think you should include a line or two of greeting since I'm assuming you're just coming back from the holiday break.

So....

Greeting...
hope you had a good holiday....

Would it be possible for me to use the room on Day of week starting at 3 pm? IF I can anything ,come in before 3 to help you put room away or set up anything for your following class or whatever you need to facilitate this I'd be happy to do so.




MrTango

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 01:48:58 PM »
I'd send a note to the teacher (and CC the Fine Arts Coordinator) letting Teacher know that FAC has asked you to take on 3 students, but one student has requested a 3:00 lesson.  Since Teacher's last class ends at 2:30, would be be okay to come in to the room at 3:00 on whichever day(s)?

camlan

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 01:55:26 PM »

How about this?

Dear Teacher D,

Happy New Year! 

Hope your year is off to a great start!

As (coordinator) may have mentioned to you, there are several new students that want after school lessons, but in order to accommodate them, we would need to use your room on (day) at 3pm, instead of 3:30pm.  Would that be a possibility?  The student(s) would need to know by (date) so we can start the paperwork.

Thank-you!  I appreciate your consideration.

RegionMom





(added to bottom of first post, see what you guys think!)

Much better. It addresses the main issue--to accommodate all the student that want lessons, her room needs to be available half an hour earlier than before.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


jmarvellous

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 02:45:13 PM »
If you see it as begging, it will come across as begging. Keep it simple, brief, and right to the point; if you show desperation or step all over yourself to please her, you won't get any further.

You need X, she has X. You are willing to do Y but not Z to get X. Thanks!

Lynn2000

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 04:04:54 PM »
I realize the authority situation is murky, which makes things harder. But it sounds to me like the school's Fine Arts Coordinator said, "This student needs a lesson at 3pm," and the only place to have the lesson is in Teacher D's room. It doesn't sound to me like it is you begging her for a favor, it is her (and your) employer allocating company resources to accommodate customers (the students).

My first assumption would be that the Fine Arts Coordinator would inform Teacher D of the change and that my (as the OP) only job would be to show up in the right place at the right time to give the lesson. But, since there have been some communication issues in the past, it wouldn't hurt to drop Teacher D a note saying, "FAC probably told you, I'll be giving a lesson at 3pm on Thursdays in Room 23 [her room] this semester. I'm excited about the three new students we've been able to add!"

My take on the situation is that if Teacher D has a problem with this, it's not because of something you've done--she needs to take it up with the FAC. You are just going where and when you were told to go. Of course you're going to be friendly and clean up after yourself, but the rest of her insecurities are not your problem.
~Lynn2000

Mikayla

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 04:47:25 PM »
To be blunt, I think the letter is too long and too wordy and brings up too much of the past. I'd go for something short and sweet and to the point.

Dear Teacher,

Is your classroom available at 3 pm on [day of week] for 1/2 hour for a piano lesson? Fine Arts Coordinator has three new students on the list for this semester, but we can only accommodate them all if we can use your classroom weekly at 3 on [day of week], which is half an hour earlier than last semester.

Please let me know by 1/15/14, so that we can let the student know.

Thank you!

Region Mom

Treat it more as a business transaction than some emotion-laden negotiation.

Camlan, I saw where you liked the later version, but I really like this one.  he tone of the green version is more like that of a kid negotiating to use the car Saturday night. 

Region Mom, you may be too caught up in looking at this as a favor to you to supplement your income, but it isn't.  Your need for the room is legit and student-based.  So you're not negotiating from a position of weakness.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 05:11:51 PM »
I realize the authority situation is murky, which makes things harder. But it sounds to me like the school's Fine Arts Coordinator said, "This student needs a lesson at 3pm," and the only place to have the lesson is in Teacher D's room. It doesn't sound to me like it is you begging her for a favor, it is her (and your) employer allocating company resources to accommodate customers (the students).

My first assumption would be that the Fine Arts Coordinator would inform Teacher D of the change and that my (as the OP) only job would be to show up in the right place at the right time to give the lesson. But, since there have been some communication issues in the past, it wouldn't hurt to drop Teacher D a note saying, "FAC probably told you, I'll be giving a lesson at 3pm on Thursdays in Room 23 [her room] this semester. I'm excited about the three new students we've been able to add!"

My take on the situation is that if Teacher D has a problem with this, it's not because of something you've done--she needs to take it up with the FAC. You are just going where and when you were told to go. Of course you're going to be friendly and clean up after yourself, but the rest of her insecurities are not your problem.

POD. The school wants you to teach at 3pm in that room. If the other teacher is not happy about that they need to complain to the higher-ups. You are simply the person who will be using the room, but you are not the person who is doing the room allocation.

Library Dragon

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Re: need to beg a teacher to use her room after school
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 06:53:56 PM »
I have to ask, is it really the school or the Fine Arts Coordinator who wants you to use the room?  Does the Coordinator actually have authority to commit the room during the teacher's time? 

I had something similar happen in my school library.  It was always being used for sport parent meetings, gatherings, tutoring, etc.  It got to the point where I couldn't do anything in the library before or after school. When I expressed my frustration to the principal it turned out that most of these folks didn't have permission to use the library.   

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